New consultation on Southern train services

Want to know why the rest of London hates having to find their way to the South East by train? It's the mind-bending complexity of the services and franchises and the incessant tweaks to the system. And the infrequent services. And the regular breakdowns and delays. And the long interchanges with the Tube system.

The latest DfT consultation about future services offered by the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern franchises is a case in point. Tube trains just follow nice, brightly-coloured lines. No fuss, no muss. Not so, the overland trains.

The consultation documents say:

A new franchise will bring together services currently operated by: First Capital Connect (FCC), including Wimbledon Loop services; Southern, including metro services, and some Southeastern services, including routes serving stations in Southwark.

The franchise will be operational from 2013 (FCC services) and be expanded to include all Southern services in 2015 (to coincide with the start of major works at London Bridge). Some Southeastern services will transfer in 2014 and others yet to be specified on completion of the Thameslink programme in 2018. 

The current consultation seeks views on how the new franchise should be specified i.e. what services and train frequencies should be delivered on which routes within the franchise area. 

The resulting specification will be used as part of the DfT’s procurement process to appoint a new operator, based on their ability to deliver the required services in an effective and efficient manner. Responses to the consultation must be returned to the DfT by the 23rd of August 2012. 

This issue is proving vexatious for various people on the South East London forum, who are worried about the implications for Nunhead and Crofton Park, among other destinations.

Please use this thread (or the forum) to highlight any issues you think should concern us.